Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Exercise Your Franchise

Today, all across America, we citizens have the privilege that would make us the envy of millions of people around the globe.  We have the constitutionally protected right to go to the polling place and cast our ballot in free elections, devoid of government oppression or undue influence.

This morning I voted in the Elmwood-Hilltop precinct at the spot in the Charles Russell Elementrary School gymnasium, where I have voted in every election since we moved to Ashland, KY in April, 1980.

No one in power told me who I had to vote for, and unlike in  many totalitarian regimes, I had a choice. With the exception of two or three local offices there were two candidates from which to choose.  In most every case there was even opportunity to write in a candidate's name, if I was dissatisfied with the candidates presented on the ballot.  In my voting lifetime, I have been a registered Democrat, and I have been a registered Republican.  10 years ago, I decided that while I hold very strong political views, that I would not be officially tied to any political party, and I changed my registration to Independent.

I have always made it a practice to vote across party lines, with one exception.  One time (and one time only) I voted a straight party ticket.  There were reasons for how I cast my vote in that election, but as I said, that was only once, and it happened many years ago.

My voting decisions, in the privacy of the voting booth are not based on political or religious affiliations. They are not based on endorsements of a union, or church leader, or business group or PAC. They are not based on personality, charisma, or attractiveness of a candidate.  They are most certainly not made based on the shameful negative attack ads that flood the airwaves and my mailbox insulting my intelligence as an informed voter. My choices are based on a thoughtful and prayerfully considered conclusion based on my biblical world view, and a study of the issues and the candidates stated beliefs and track record.  As an American citizen I consider the economy.  I consider domestic issues.  I consider foreign policy.  I consider local issues, and basic human rights. Again, all as an outgrowth in in concert with my personal faith in Christ, who has called us believers to be salt and light in this world.

I hold dual citizenship.  Temporarily here in the greatest country on Earth and permanently in the Kingdom of God.  They are not the same thing, and they are not mutually exclusive, and I cherish them both.

I do not take my vote lightly, nor the privilege of having this opportunity.  Our founders ordained it.  There had to be course corrections along the way to grant equality among citizens to guarantee the right to vote to all Americans.  It's something that needs eternal vigilance to correct.inequities in voting rights whenever the need arises.

Why?  Because our Constitution grants it.  Because men and women have laid down their lives to purchase those rights, and to preserve them.

I wasn't happy this morning with every choice I had, but I was happy to HAVE a choice and the opportunity to be one guy blessed to have the right to cast my ballot.

If you are registered, I hope you have or will vote today.  If you are not registered, PLEASE, by all means, get to the court house tomorrow as soon as the books open again, and register to vote.

It's a privilege that millions would give their lives to have.

Take a moment to thank God you live in the greatest nation on Earth.  It's the best.  But it can be better.  Exercise your franchise.  Vote!.


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